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6. Federal Endangered Species Act
Authorities: 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.: Endangered Species Act of 1973; 50 CFR 17.00: Endangered Species and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.
Jurisdiction: Plants and wildlife of the United States that are listed as endangered or threatened, and their habitats.
Applicability: Non-federal projects that “take” federally-defined endangered or threatened species must have an Incidental Take Permit. The permit is issued in the context of a Habitat Conservation Plan filed by the applicant.
Regulatory Summary: The federal Endangered Species Act conserves the ecosystems on which endangered and threatened species depend. Species are protected under the Act as either endangered or threatened. Endangered means a species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Threatened means a species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which is responsible for marine species, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) jointly administer the law, which is responsible for terrestrial and freshwater species.
Review Process: With the assistance of USFWS personnel, a habitat conservation plan is prepared to detail the level of take and measures to minimize and mitigate the impact of the project to endangered or threatened species. An application for an Incidental Take Permit includes a completed application form, the habitat conservation plan, and a National Environmental Policy Act (NEAP) Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Review deadlines are not specified in the regulations and depend on the complexity of the issues involved. According to USFWS, typical processing time is approximately 100 days.
Forms: Not yet available electronically. Contact USFWS Regional Office at (413) 253-8200 for a copy of the application form.
Fees: $25 processing fee.
Contact: USFWS Regional Office (413) 253-8200; NMFS Regional Office (978) 281-9102.
Publication Date: Fall, 2003
A publication of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA170Z2338. This publication is funded (in part) by a grant/cooperative agreement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its sub-agencies.